as the world looks for ways to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, homemade masks and face coverings have fast become commonplace. in grocery stores, pharmacies and on the streets, european nations and even the united states have started wearing them in public.


the increase in members of the public donning masks acknowledges increasing evidence that large numbers of positive cases of COVID-19 are asymptomatic. such research has been coming out at least since february — the latest report from singapore on april 1. these studies emphasize that people can spread the virus without ever realizing that they are sick — and that wearing a mask in public could help keep the infected person from the spread of infectious droplets.


a real shift came when the centers for disease control and prevention recommended that people wear cloth face coverings in places where the risk of transmitting the coronavirus from person to person is higher. it shared this message alongside a video demonstrating how to make your own face mask in 45 seconds.


now, masks are being so widely adopted, that many countries are facing shortages. these shortages have mobilized companies around the world to produce and provide millions of masks including: apple, who has sourced over 20 million face masks and is now designing, producing and shipping face shields; LVMH, who is providing around 40 million surgical masks to france; and prada, who is producing 80,000 medical overalls and 110,000 masks at its factory in montone, perugia.


earlier this month, new balance redirected a portion of its skilled US team to work on face masks. the footwear label posted the update on instagram with an image of a mask and the call-out ‘made shoes yesterday. making masks today.’ it features what looks like shoelaces and canvas materials familiar to the new balance aesthetic.

DIY and face mask prototypes anticipate a new normal post-coronavirus

image courtesy of new balance



by mid-april, our goal is to make up to 100,000 units weekly at our lawrence, MA and norridgewock, ME factories combined,’ the company explained. ‘we are simultaneously advancing our current face mask design and materials specifications to ideally meet FDA requirements and achieve a product that can be confidently used by frontline medical staff who require those criteria.’


in addition to large multi-national brands changing their production lines to produce masks, several other companies, designers and architects from around the world have also proposed solutions with all sorts of creative contributions. together, they anticipate a future post-coronavirus where mass adoption inculcates mask-wearing habits everywhere…

DIY and face mask prototypes anticipate a new normal post-coronavirus

image courtesy of roo williams



governments have urged citizens to protect themselves by wearing face masks in an attempt to slow contagion. the problem is that if handled incorrectly, these face masks can increase the wearer’s chances of infection. trying to find solutions to these problems, designer, developer and maker roo williams has created everymask — a DIY face mask designed with as little as possible, for as many people as possible and it is completely stitch-less.

DIY and face mask prototypes anticipate a new normal post-coronavirus

the nanobreeze works by using a built-in fan
image courtesy of gloture



nanobreeze‘ uses a rechargeable lithium battery that powers a built-in electric fan to effectively remove PM2.5 particles from the air. this filters air through a replaceable high-performance nanofiber filter which lasts approximately one week in high-pollution areas and three weeks in mildly-polluted areas. users can control the amount of air circulated in the mask via two modes: normal and power. normal can be used day-to-day and power mode can be used during exercise so that wearers can enjoy clean air without feeling short of breath.


germain verbrackel’s downloadable template
video by print your mask



as opposed to the masks that require laser cutters, 3D printers or other complex materials, industrial designer germain verbrackel shared a downloadable template that enables people to create a disposable paper mask at home that can be used by to make quick errands such as going to the supermarket. all you need to make this mask is an A4 printer, paper, tape and some string – in verbrackel‘s instructional video he has even utilized a shoelace. although not being a respiratory mask, the paper version intends to work as a physical barrier like surgical masks, which do not filter the air and are not sealed.

DIY and face mask prototypes anticipate a new normal post-coronavirus

mitsufuji’s washable and re-usable hamon AG mask
image courtesy of mitsufuji



others have turned their attentions to producing masks that can be washed and re-used in hopes that this might ease production pressures. japanese textile manufacturer mitsufuji has launched the ‘hamon AG mask‘, a high-performance mask that uses unique silver-metalized medical fibers. the extremely durable mask can withstand being washed more than 50 times.

masks for the deaf

a mask for the deaf and hard of hearing community by ashley lawrence
image via gofundme



although many people have been creating reusable fabric masks, a key group have been excluded from this movement: the deaf and hard of hearing. ashley lawrence – a college student studying education for the deaf and hard of hearing — has designed a face mask with a clear window that allows others to see and read lips and facial expressions. the prototype has caught the attention of several hundreds of designboom’s readers, who have been discussing its benefits and potential improvements on this instagram post.

DIY and face mask prototypes anticipate a new normal post-coronavirus

a child-friendly design that aims to make the experience of wearing one more enjoyable
image courtesy of oliver perretta



meanwhile, product designer oliver perretta has designed a child-friendly protective mask that aims to make the experience of wearing one more enjoyable for kids. conceptualised using a textured fabric, the 3D render features the mouth and nose of a bunny rabbit, envisioning kids dressing up as their favorite animals while staying safe.

face id masks

image courtesy of danielle baskin



san francisco-based designer danielle baskin has come up with a solution to another problem that comes as a result of wearing a mask. after realizing that her smartphone couldn’t recognize her, she came up with a custom respirator printed with an image of the wearer’s face. baskin imagines ‘resting risk face‘ involving a simple process of uploading an image and having it printed with non-toxic inks made of natural dyes that wouldn’t affect breathability.

DIY and face mask prototypes anticipate a new normal post-coronavirus
image courtesy of closca 


made in valencia, spain, closca mask is an innovative reusable mask designed to help you avoid smog, pollution, microorganisms and pollen. it is washable, foldable, comfortable and suitable for different adult sizes because it has a velcro clasp. the company has added an anti-coronavirus function by inserting the same filters used in FFP2 masks, homologized for this purpose.